Unity recently announced its Unity Runtime Fee program, a controversial move that has fueled anger among game developers. Under this program, Unity will charge a fee for every installation of a Unity game. This has particularly upset smaller developers who use Unity Personal, as they will be charged $0.20 per install if their game makes over $200,000 within a year and reaches over 200,000 lifetime game installs.
One of the main sources of confusion surrounding this program has been the definition of a “game install” in an industry that includes various subscription services, game bundles, and piracy. To address this, Digital Trends reached out to Unity for clarification. Unity assured developers that they do not need to worry about fees related to trials, bundles, and giveaways. However, if their game is included in a subscription service such as Xbox Game Pass or PlayStation Plus Premium, they will need to take these fees into account.
In terms of piracy concerns, Unity believes that its fraud detection systems are already robust. However, they will establish a process for developers to submit their concerns to Unity’s fraud compliance team. Unity plans to leverage its existing fraud detection practices from its Ads technology to address this issue.
The pricing structure of the Unity Runtime Fee program has been a point of contention, especially for smaller studios. Unity’s spokesperson defended the pricing stating that it was designed to ensure that developers have already achieved a certain level of success before the install fee comes into effect. The fees are primarily targeted at developers with successful games that generate significant revenue.
While the implementation of the Unity Runtime Fee program has caused widespread dissatisfaction among game developers, these clarifications from Unity aim to provide a clearer understanding of the fees and their impact. Developers who are still in the process of building their business and expanding their audience will not be subjected to these fees.
Source: Digital Trends